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Batman #3

Writer: Tom King 
Artist: David Finch 
Publisher: DC 

Coming off the heels of one of the most iconic runs of Batman of all time, Tom King and David Finch are doing a stellar job of upholding the character’s legacy. This issue in particular pays homage to Scott Snyder without it feeling like a total retread of what we’ve already seen. Snyder always wrote great narrations that added to the story rather than distracted from it, and here King delivers some really engaging text as Batman describes the inexplicable effect Gotham City has on its residents. It fits given that this issue explores the origins of the new crime fighting duo of Gotham and Gotham Girl.

That said, this one does focus more on their past than it does on the present, which is fine as it provides good subtext for the rest of this arc. Just like Snyder introduced The Court of Owls back at the beginning of his run in 2011, King was smart to kick off the whole Rebirth title with new characters as well. I’m eager to see where Gotham and Gotham Girl’s stories will go and if they’ll remain as heroes. Given Batman’s tendency to develop ideological conflicts and his general reluctance toward working with others, I think this story could go in any direction.

Finch’s pencils offer that classically noir, stylish aesthetic appropriate for the story’s tone. The way in which the art embodies the spirit of Gotham, even in an issue with limited action, is plenty for fans who were disappointed to see Greg Capullo leave along with Snyder. Rest easy knowing that DC picked the right creative team to step into their shoes. Oh and did I mention that Hugo Strange as the villain of this series has me geeking out? So yeah, get on over to Ultimate and pick up this book.

-KEVIN SCHAEFER for Ultimate Comics